planning ahead

Budget: Planning Ahead For Purchases

Have you ever made a purchase and had to go into debt for it? Today, I’m sharing how planning ahead can help keep you out of debt.

Welcome to this month’s budget talk. Today we are going to go over a very key componet of being finanacial free or successful. I am going to share my stance on planning ahead.

What Is Planning Ahead?

So glad you asked…haha. Even if you didn’t ask I’m going to share what planning ahead with a budget looks like, at least for us.

Planning ahead is as easy as it sounds. It is basically thinking about a purchase you want or need to make and plan ahead before you purchase it.

This works (and should be done) with most of your purchases. You think about why you need or want this thing. After you know what it is that you want you can decide when you want to purchase it.

What’s left is making sure you have the money so you do not go into debt buying it. Of course there are expections:

  • big purchases like homes, cars, RVs, schooling, etc
  • unexpected purchases: surprise home repairs, unexpected medical bills, etc. This is what your $1,000 emergancy fund is for!!

Planning ahead is for purchases you know you need or want to make. For example we had a trip planned for the fall of 2020 (we have decided to postpone but we are still saving for it).

We wanted to visit some family in Florida and visit Disney World. This is not a cheap trip. We decided how much money we would need in order to pay for the trip.

Then we calculated how many extra shifts Eddy would need to pick up in order to pay for the trip. We didn’t want to use our regular paycheck because of some financial goals we have this year.

At the end of each month when we are going over that month’s budget we take any money that Eddy earned from working extra shifts and put it into our vacation savings bank account.

It is fun to see that money growing. We know that whatever money is in there is the money we will have for our trip. So it is motivation to keep trying to get extra shifts for Eddy. And find ways to save exgtra money each month to put into that same vacation fund.

Unplanned Expense

Last year in May we found out we were pregnant! We were so excited. Baby 5 was going to be born right after Christmas. Then in June we found out that our little baby was in heaven much too soon. I was 10 weeks along.

We had money in our Health Savings Account (HSA) and contruibute to it monthly. We have time to save up for a baby then deplete it by having said baby. Then have time to save up to pay for the next baby.

It was a hard choice but also not a hard choice. In the end we decided to have a D and C. I had a week long campout the following week that I spent months helping to plan and set up.

I really felt I needed to go. In the end it was just what I needed to help me get through such a hard time in my life. And it was a good distraction from thinking about my angle baby too much.

cash vs credit card

It also meant that we would get a big medical bill that we would need to pay for. When we got it we decided to put it on payment plans. If it is paid off in 12 months you have 0% financing. So we made our monthly payments the right amount that it would be paid off before 12 months.

With that big payment each month it has been hard to save enough money to pay for labor and delivery in our HSA. Here I am, snuggling my 7 week old baby girl. We have those bills and bills from unplanned medical bills, darn broken foot!

But here is our plan! We are planning ahead and backwards at the same time… Haha!

Once we get that big labor and delivery bill we will put it on payment plans so we can use the money we already allicated to health expensis from Eddy’s paychecks. And we do not have to dip into money that has been allicated to other things.

Once it is paid off we will be able to just put money into our HSA monthly. This will help us to have money saved up in our HSA for any future unplanned medical expensis.

Planning ahead can be used for small things as well. When Eddy and I sit down to go over the preveious month’s budget and the next month’s budget we look for things that might come up that month.

Example Time

For example, in May when we sat down we realized that we needed to buy some clothes for the kids, get the air and water filter in the fridge replaced, plan for Mother’s Day gifts for our moms, had our anniversery, and knew that we might be eating out or getting take out more with a baby due in 3 weeks.

By knowing we had these things to pay for we were able to up our “other” budget to have money to pay for these things and not go over our “other” budget. It means that we will save a little less that month. But I’d rather know about expensis then have a ton of things come up that stretch our budget too thin or make us go over.

Planning ahead is a great way to work together as a family. Because our kids know we are saving for Florida we will have to say no to other things. Our son has said many times that he doesn’t want to do something because he wants to save that money for Florida. πŸ™‚

It’s darling. We then say that going to get an ice cream cone or shake is okay and will not stop us from going to Florida.

This may not work for everyone but I highly suggest trying it. It will be much more satsifying to have the money up front to pay for something then having to go into debt for it.

What is something you could plan ahead for? Use the steps below to help you reach your goal.

Steps For Planning Ahead

  1. What do you need or want to purchase?
  2. Research how much it is going to cost you.
  3. Plan out how much you want or need to save each week or month.
  4. Open up a seperate bank account. At the end of each week or month put what you saved into that account.
  5. When you have enough go ahead and purchase what you planned. Do it guilt free! πŸ™‚ Then enjoy the heck out of it.

Good luck friends!

Xxx, Steph
planning ahead

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24 Comments

  1. This is so great! I’m a huge planner and various accounts for savings. I like that you said you had a trip planned (postponed – ME TOO – so sad) but you are still saving for it. So are we!!! Every time I get paid I throw money into different accounts, especially the emergency one!

  2. Such great advice here. I have always struggled with budgeting and planning ahead. I tend to be more of a go for it and figure it out later kind of person.

  3. Oh my gosh, I can relate to so much in this post. We have two angel babies, so I know your pain. And we worked hard getting out of debt the last few years, and all of that was possible because we made a plan, a budget, and followed through. And now we have a fully funded emergency fund, but that $1000 emergency fund was a life saver for all those years we paid off debt. Thanks for sharing your story and good luck with your plans to get to Florida! I’m hoping to take my family one day too!

    1. I’m so glad you can relate, and sad at the same time. I’m sorry about your two angle babies! πŸ’š Way to go getting out of debt AND building your fully funded emergency fund, that’s such a huge accomplishment. Worth all the sacrifice! πŸ™‚ Thanks so much.

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